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released: 31 Oct 2005 author: Rahman N, Penm E & Bhatia K media release

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are large contributors to illness, pain and disability in Australia. Highly prevalent, they place a significant burden on the community, both economic and personal, including the use of hospital and primary care services, disruptions to daily life and lost productivity through disability. More than 6.1 million Australians are reported to have arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition. Most commonly reported conditions are back pain and various forms of arthritis. Almost 1.2 million of these are reported to have disability associated with their condition. In view of their large disease burden-the number of people affected and the high disability impact-Australian Health ministers declared arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions were declared a National Health Priority Area (NHPA) in July 2002.

ISSN 1833 0991; ISBN 978 1 74024 507 4; Cat. no. PHE 67; 160pp.; Internet Only

Full publication

Publication table of contents

  • Preliminary material (196K PDF)
    • Title and verso title pages
    • Contents
    • List of tables
    • List of figures
    • Preface
    • Acknowledgments
    • Executive summary
  • Sections
    1. Introduction A National Health Priority Area (61K PDF)
      • Bone and Joint Decade Focus areas
      • National Action Plan
      • Statement of the problem
      • Aims and organisation of the report
      • References
    2. Burden of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions (224K PDF)
      • Illness, discomfort and pain
      • Disease severity and disability
      • Health care/service use
      • Mortality
      • Inequalities
      • References
    3. Osteoarthritis (146K PDF)
      • Nature of the problem
      • Risk factors and causal mechanisms
      • Prevalence and incidence
      • Disease severity and disability Prevention and management
      • References
    4. Rheumatoid arthritis (111K PDF)
      • Nature of the problem
      • Causal and risk factors
      • Incidence and prevalence
      • Disability and psychosocial impact
      • Treatment and health service use
      • Mortality
      • References
    5. Osteoporosis (176K PDF)
      • Nature of the problem
      • Risk factors and markers
      • Incidence and prevalence
      • Impairments and activity limitations
      • Current service use
      • Mortality
      • References
    6. Impact on functioning and quality of life (213K PDF)
      • Impairments
      • Independent living
      • Work disability
      • Social participation
      • Informal care
      • Health-related quality of life
      • Self-reported health status
      • Co-morbidity and disability
      • References
    7. Health expenditure (241K PDF)
      • Allocation of expenditure
      • Expenditure by health care sector
      • Trends over time
      • Expenditure by age and sex
      • Expenditure by type of arthritis or musculoskeletal condition
      • Variation in health expenditure between focus areas
      • Comparisons with other National Health Priority Areas
      • References
    8. Surveillance and monitoring Surveillance and monitoring issues (83K PDF)
      • A theoretical framework
      • Data classification
      • A national surveillance and monitoring system
      • Current data sources
      • Data gaps and deficiencies
      • References
  • End matter (170K PDF)
    • Appendix A: A National Action Plan for Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoporosis, 2004 - 2006
    • Appendix B: Statistical methods and classifications
    • Appendix C: Health system costing methodology
    • Appendix D: Definitions of terms and measures
    • Appendix E: Statistical tables
    • Appendix F: National Health Priority Area indicators

Recommended citation

Rahman N, Penm E & Bhatia K 2005. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in Australia 2005: with a focus on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Arthritis series no. 1. Cat. no. PHE 67. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 27 November 2014 <http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=6442467774>.